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When your child doesn’t get his chores done

by Maxine
Posted January 3 2012 10:14pm
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Doing chores can help your child learn to organize time, handle responsibility, set goals and learn various other skills. But that doesn't mean your child will want to do them - sometimes it's going to be a chore to get your child to do chores.

To make things easier on both of you, give your child a reasonable time in which to do the chores. Give him complete freedom to finish the chores, on his own, by the deadline. Avoid nagging your child to do them.

If the chores are not done by the deadline, don't do them yourself. If you do, you give the message: "You don't really have to do your chores unless you want to because, if you don't, good old mom - or dad - will do them for you!" If a chore has to be done again because it wasn't done properly, it is up to you to patiently and gently insist your child take the time to do it properly.

Remember, it takes all of the preschool years, and then some, for children to assume responsibility for chores without reminders. Just ask parents of teens! But do start early.

What kinds of chores do you have you preschooler do? Is it a battle to get them to do them? Share your thoughts below by leaving a comment!

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Making mornings more pleasant for your preschooler

by Maxine
Posted January 3 2012 04:47pm
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Let’s be honest – mornings can be a struggle even for adults. Throw a child into the mix and unleash the chaos.

Here are several strategies that may help make your mornings a little easier on everyone:

It's important to allow enough time in the morning so that you don't have to rush, even if it means getting up a bit earlier than you already do. This will allow you to stay calm and avoid acting stressed around your child.

Create a workable schedule and explain it to your child, so she knows what to expect in the morning. For example, let your child know she has to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast and leave the house by 7:30 am. It's also a good idea to keep this routine as regular as possible.

Build in a little time for your child to play and give her the feeling she can come back to the game later.

Try to lay out clothes, prepare lunches and pack up anything else that goes with your child the night before.

Try to incorporate some fun into your morning rituals, such as singing songs and just getting a little silly together.

If your child seems tired, reassure him, but explain that he still has to get ready. And as frustrated as you might get, never yell at or physically hurt your child. Lastly, when you drop your child off, let him know that you're not angry with him and make it clear that you are coming back.

How do you get your mornings off to a good start with your preschooler? Post your comment below to share your thoughts with other parents!

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Preparing your baby for childcare

by Maxine
Posted January 2 2012 07:05pm
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Starting childcare can be an adjustment for the entire family. Routines will be new for everyone and some family members will adjust easier than others.

Whether it's a family home care setting or centre-based care, here are some tips to help make the transition easier for everyone.

  1. Start talking about the new routine well in advance of the first day.
    For instance, if mom will be doing the drop off, she could start talking about the ride to childcare. Talk to your child about the new routine that will take place once in care. Familiarize yourself and your child with the names of the teachers as well as the other children.
  2. Arrange advance visits.
    Advance visits, for children of all ages, allow your child to become familiar with the caregiver, the routine, and the other children. Visits can begin several weeks before the first day.
  3. Ease your child in and out.
    At the start, a parent or other family member should visit with the child for 30 minutes to two hours. Over the next few weeks, arrange to leave your child for a period of time without you. This will help the caregiver and child get to know each other. It will also show your child that you will come back. During the first full week, you may want to pick up your child a little earlier on the first day, gradually increasing the length of stay as the week progresses.
  4. Make introductions to the new children.
    Getting to know the other children and the other parents will be important for you and your child. During visits, be sure to introduce your child to children in his or her group. Similarly, don't hesitate to introduce yourself to some of the other parents.
  5. Take touches of comfort.
    Allow your child to take something that will give her comfort—a special toy, blanket, even a picture of you.
  6. Make a comfort call.
    Talk to your caregiver to agree on a time you can call during the day. It's important to plan this together to ensure your call won't take the caregiver's attention away from the children at a busy time.
  7. Touch base with your caregiver every day.
    Exchange information about your child's day or the evening at home. For instance, if your child had a restless night it is important your caregiver know so she can respond to any unusual behaviours or needs that may arise as a result. Similarly, as you head into the evening, you should know if your child was fussy at childcare.
  8. Talk with your child.
    Each day, talk with your child about special things that happened at childcare.
  9. Have an older sibling visit.
    If there's an older sibling in the same childcare setting, ask that she be given the opportunity to visit her younger brother during the day during the adjustment period.
  10. Be specific about pick-ups.
    Reassure your child that you will be back. Make sure he knows who will pick him up at the end of the day and when. Even if he is not old enough to really tell time, one of the ways children learn to tell time is when pick-up routines become established.

We know it can be hard to leave your child in childcare for the first time. Preparing yourself and your baby will smooth the transition and contribute to making it a positive experience for everyone.

How did you prepare your baby for childcare? Was it difficult for you? For your child? Share you experience by leaving a comment below!

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Growing up to be kind and caring

by Maxine
Posted December 16 2010 08:29pm
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Toddlers don't understand when other people don't feel like they do, or that sometimes they are not the most important people in the world. But does this mean that they won't grow to be kind and caring individuals? No, it does not. 

You may wonder if children will ever be kind and caring when they constantly interrupt your phone conversations or fail to understand that "Mom is too tired" to play with them. You may also be surprised at how cruel young children can be to each other. Toddlers simply don't understand that other people don't feel like they do, or that sometimes they are not the most important people in the world.

Most parents hope their children will learn to be sensitive to others and act with kindness. But caring doesn't happen unless children themselves are treated with sensitivity and kindness, so it helps to be aware of what you can do to encourage empathy.

Empathy develops from infancy when children are treated with kindness and understanding. Empathy is often described as the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes - in other words, to understand how someone else feels and how to respond to them. When children feel valued and loved, they will naturally respond to others that way.

It may not be until school age that your child has the thinking skills needed to learn how to take someone else's point of view, and what to do about it. But by showing your child love and sensitivity from the day he is born, you're setting a good example for learning to be kind and caring.

 

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